My Upcoming Travel Plans for the First Half of 2018

A new year means new travel destinations! I am still freelancing, therefore I’m lucky to have quite a bit of free time to explore the world. So far, I have planned a few trips through June, and I don’t mind sharing with all of you where I’m going next.

January

I recently returned from Vietnam where I spent most of December and already am gearing up for my next trip. My mother and I are traveling to the Bahamas for the first time. We both love the beach, and I’m looking forward to doing the bare minimum while on the island of New Providence. I booked our flights to Nassau with American Airlines AAdvantage miles and our hotel with Hyatt points. We’ll be staying at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar for five nights after redeeming 100,000 points.

Related: How I Booked a $7,000 10-Night Trip to the Caribbean for $800

February

This is actually a continuation of our trip, and my mom and I will fly from the Bahamas to Grand Cayman where we’ll spend another five nights. I redeemed just 4,000 Avios per person to book us on a British Airways-operated flight between the two islands—a flight that typically costs about $500 per passenger. We will stay at The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Miles Beach Resort & Spa, which I’ve been eying for quite some time. I redeemed 48,000 Starpoints for this stay.

April

Thanks to a great fare out of Salt Lake City, where I live, I’m going to Colombia for two weeks in April. I’ll be flying into Cartagena and back home out of Bogota, and the fare cost a reasonable $385 on JetBlue, which I booked with my Platinum Card from American Express and earned 5X points per dollar.

I’ve never been to South America, which is kind of insane considering how often I travel, and I’m excited to set foot on the continent for the first time. It helps that Colombia has been on my travel list since one of my friends went there a couple of years ago and is still raving about it.

June

This summer, my fiancé and I are checking off a major bucket-list item and traveling to Russia for the FIFA World Cup. On the way there, we will stop in Poland for a week and continue on to Russia for two more weeks. We spent 169,000 points and miles on four flights (international and domestic) from our various accounts, mostly American Express Membership Rewards points and Chase Ultimate Rewards, to make the trip happen. We will visit Krakow and Warsaw in Poland, as well as Sochi, Saint Petersburg and Moscow in Russia where we’ll attend a few matches.

Related: How I Booked a Trip to FIFA World Cup with Points and Miles

Where are you traveling this year? If you’ve been to any of the places on my list, please feel free to share recommendations for what to do, see and eat.

Anya Kartashova

The JetBlue Plus Card

  • Annual Fee: $99 fee waived for the first year
  • Foreign Fees: 0%
  • Card Type: Travel

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  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
  • Earn 6 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue-operated flights. Points required for an Award Flight will vary based on the published base fare at the time of booking
  • Points awarded in your TrueBlue account don’t expire.
  • Earn and share points together with Family Pooling
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points every year after your account anniversary
  • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food & the primary cardmember’s first checked bag is free on JetBlue-operated flights
  • Enjoy TrueBlue Mosaic benefits for one year after you spend $50,000 or more on purchases each calendar year with your card
  • Enjoy a $100 statement credit after purchasing a JetBlue Vacations package of $100 or more with your JetBlue Plus Card
  • Your first checked bag is free.

Breakdown

Earn (pt.)

Spend


3 months

30,000

$1,000


JetBlue Purchases

6.00

$1


Restaurants Purchases

2.00

$1


Groceries Purchases

2.00

$1


All Purchases

1.00

$1


The JetBlue Plus Card

  • Annual Fee: $99 fee waived for the first year
  • Foreign Fees: 0%
  • Card Type: Travel
FTG Review Reward Breakdown Points Breakdown
  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
  • Earn 6 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue-operated flights. Points required for an Award Flight will vary based on the published base fare at the time of booking
  • Points awarded in your TrueBlue account don’t expire.
  • Earn and share points together with Family Pooling
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points every year after your account anniversary
  • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food & the primary cardmember’s first checked bag is free on JetBlue-operated flights
  • Enjoy TrueBlue Mosaic benefits for one year after you spend $50,000 or more on purchases each calendar year with your card
  • Enjoy a $100 statement credit after purchasing a JetBlue Vacations package of $100 or more with your JetBlue Plus Card
  • Your first checked bag is free.

Breakdown

Earn (pt.)

Spend


3 months

30,000

$1,000


JetBlue Purchases

6.00

$1


Restaurants Purchases

2.00

$1


Groceries Purchases

2.00

$1


All Purchases

1.00

$1


Apply Now

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